Blackjack boys move on to 5A golf tourney

MARSHALL – They didn’t finish where they wanted to in Wednesday’s Section 5A-South golf tournament, but the defending section champion Dawson- Boyd boys’ golf team is still in the hunt to get back to state. And now they have an extra jolt of motivation to drive them to get there.

The Blackjacks finished in second place in the seven-team sub-section meet held at Marshall Golf Club with a team score of 348, four strokes behind champion Ortonville. Both teams advance to the Section 5A tournament, which will be played next Wednesday in Benson. Ortonville also had the top squad on the girls’ side, winning with a score of 392. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart was second at 421.

Coming off a Camden Conference championship last week which they won at Marshall Golf Club, the Blackjack boys were hoping to improve on their winning score of 346. Wednesday’s wet, windy and cool conditions prevented them from going as low as they would have liked, but they still felt they should have done better.

“This will motivate us. We’ll practice a lot,” said Dawson-Boyd sophomore Easton Popma, who finished second individually with a 6-over round of 78. “We really wanted to win, but we’re going to get a lot of practice in, we’re going to get things fixed up and we’re going to come ready for sections.”

Ortonville was the better team Wednesday, placing three golfers in the top 10. Senior Jade Hasslen had the lowest round of the day with a 77. Trojans junior James Nitz added an 86 to finish sixth, Scott Erickson placed ninth with an 89 and freshman Logan Schoon fired a 92 to tie for 15th.

Dawson-Boyd’s top four scores were from Popma, sophomores Cameron Kemen (87) and Spencer Erickson (91), and freshman Christian Thoen (92).

Blackjack head coach Dave Baldwin is looking forward to seeing how his young team responds next week when it gets another crack at the Trojans and the rest of the section-qualifying squads.

“The guys, they’re competitors and they definitely wanted to win but Ortonville is a good team and we knew it was going to be tough,” Baldwin said. “We just have to try to get ready and see if we can take them next week. It should be a good battle.”

Conditions made it hard for anyone to score low on Wednesday as temperatures in the 40s combined with stiff winds and drizzle to make for an uncomfortable playing environment. Heavy rough that has been thickened with the recent wet weather also gave the players problems.

Just nine boys golfers cracked 90 on the day, and only five girls broke 100.

“It was raining hard for a while and then it would stop. Then it would get really windy, then it would stop,” Popma said. “It was just ever-changing and pretty crazy.

“And the rough was very thick. It was really hard to get out of there. You just wanted to stay on the fairway.”

Along with the two boys’ teams that qualified out of the 5A-South sub-section, eight individuals from other teams also made it through. Canby senior Nick Simonton was the only Marshall-area golfer among the group. He finished fifth individually with an 85.

Marshall-area girls’ golf teams came up short in their bid to get through to the section meet. Canby just missed out, finishing third with a score of 425. The Lancers were just four strokes behind second-place Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart. Dawson-Boyd finished fourth, but was well back with a 470.

Canby did manage to get two individuals through to next week’s competition at Benson, and they are the Lancers’ two youngest golfers. Freshman Natalie Morris shot a 101 to qualify for the section meet for the second straight year. She’ll be joined by her seventh-grade sister, Abi, who shot a 105 to finish ninth individually.

The play of the Morris sisters was certainly a bright spot for Canby, but the Camden Conference tournament runner-up felt it had a strong shot to get all of its golfers through.

“We struggled early and we didn’t quite get down to where we needed to go,” Canby head coach Milo Larson said. “We thought we had a chance to get second at least and we gave it a good effort for the conditions, I think. The two young girls, sometimes they don’t hit it quite as far and so they can’t get in quite as much trouble than those who hit it farther.

“I can’t say I’m disappointed with the way we played today with the conditions and all. We were hoping we could get one spot better but we just didn’t have quite enough good shots.”

Larson expected Natalie Morris to have a strong round Wednesday, but he was especially proud of how Abi Morris, the youngest competitor in the field, handled herself during the tournament.

“That was really a pleasant surprise to see her score that well, although she’s had a couple of junior high events where she’s shot really well, so it’s not a total surprise,” Larson said. “The weather, she didn’t seem to let it bother her today, that’s the big thing. Sometimes it gets in your mind.”

Dawson-Boyd had one golfer make it to sections, as freshman Taylor Loose grabbed the last of the five spots with a 107.

The low score in the girls’ competition was a 92, shot by both Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart senior Carly Schmalz and Ortonville’s Jenae Schneider.

Boys’ Team Scores: 1. Ortonville 344*, 2. Dawson-Boyd 348*, 3. BOLD 358, 4. Canby 376, 5. MACCRAY 383, 6. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 386, 7. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 389. Incomplete: Renville County West.

* denotes section-qualifying team

Top 10 Individuals: 1. Jade Hasslen (ORT) 77, 2. Easton Popma (D-B) 78, 3. Cole Mertens (BOLD) 81, 4. Brady Madsen (MAC) 84, t-5. Nick Simonton (CAN) 85, t-5. James Nitz (ORT) 85, t-7. Cameron Kemen (D-B) 87, t-7. Dean Schroeder (MAC) 87, 9. Scott Erickson (ORT) 89, t-10. Taylor Larson (ACGC) 90, t-10. Nick Kubesh 90.

Individual Scores

ACGC: Taylor Larson 90, Lucas Damm 91, Dylan Hoerchler 95, Jacob Belgum 110.

BOLD: Cole Mertens 81*, Nick Kubesh 90*, Nick Feige 91*, Ethan Ryberg 98.

BL-H-S: Davis Ginsburg 92, Jack Broderius 93, Jon Burgstahler 100, Kyle Mellies 104.

Canby: Nick Simonton 85*, Dylan Smith 92, Vasu Potla 95, Jesse Lokken 104.

Dawson-Boyd: Easton Popma 78, Cameron Kemen 87, Spencer Erickson 91, Christian Thoen 92.

MACCRAY: Brady Madsen 84*, Dean Schroeder 87*, Chuck Rothwell 105, Nathaniel Johnson 107.

Ortonville: Jade Hasslen 77, James Nitz 86, Scott Erickson 89, Logan Schoon 92.

RCW: Chalie Wittenberg 108, Thomas Groslags 139.

* denotes section-qualifying individual

Girls’ Team Results: 1. Ortonville 392*, 2. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 421*, 3. Canby 425, Dawson-Boyd 470, 5. MACCRAY 518. Incomplete: Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

* denotes section-qualifying team

Top 10 Indivuals

t-1. Carly Schmalz (BLHS) 92, t-1. Jenae Schneider (ORT) 92, t-3. Bailee Hauser (MAC) 95, t-3. Hope Hasslen (ORT) 95, 5. Bree Ninneman (ORT) 97, t-6. Mikayla Paulson (BLHS) 101, t-6. Natalie Morris (CAN) 101, 8. Abigail Dallmann (ACGC) 104, 9. Abi Morris (CAN) 105, 10. Taylor Loose (D-B) 107.

Individual Scores

ACGC: Abigail Dallmann 104*, Nicole Krumrie 113, Shelby Schroeder 119.

BL-H-S: Carly Schmalz 92, Mikayla Paulson 101, Alesha Paulsen 113, Miranda Kramer 115.

Canby: Natalie Morris 101*, Abi Morris 105*, Kristy Schmidt 109, Taylor Gorder 110.

Dawson-Boyd: Taylor Loose 107*, Tracy Polzine 113, Tiana Kruse 116, Raeann Tuff 134.

MACCRAY: Baillee Hauser 95*, Tiffany Mogard 133, Lauren Wubben 135, Heather Hinrichs 155.

Ortonville: Jenae Schneider 92, Hope Hasslen 95, Bree Ninneman 97, Amber Sorenson 108.

* denotes section-qualifying individual